Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pregnancy Notes

This post is more for me than anyone else. I started this post during my last week of pregnancy. My last week of pregnancy, likely, ever. I wanted to jot down some thoughts and take note of my pregnancy symptoms while I still remember them.
It's safe to say I'm not a big fan of the state of being pregnant. I don't take it lightly though and I would never take it for granted. I have friends who can't get pregnant or spent years trying to convenience and while I try to comfort them, I can only imagine what that would be like to actually go through ourselves. We have been very, very fortunate that both times it has been easy to get pregnant. Put it this way, with both kids we were planning for spring babies. Both kids turned out to be fall babies because it didn't take long to conceive. Both times we were caught a little off guard when we found out I was pregnant.
A few notes and observations about how my two pregnancies panned out. This is mostly for me, possibly for Cece someday in the distant (distant!!) future. Sorry if some of it is TMI. You've been warned. Turn back now!
  • With both kids it took 2 months to conceive (without diligently trying). 
  • Weeks 6-10 were tough with both kids. Possibly worse with my first pregnancy. Found it hard to decide what I wanted to eat and when I did eat I would feel sick. During my second pregnancy I lost 5 pounds during these weeks because I lost most of my appetite all together.
  • Beyond issues with my appetite during the first trimester of both pregnancies I also experienced constipation, bloating and extreme fatigue. These symptoms tapered off around 10-11 weeks.
  • Very sore bbs during the first trimester of Cece's pregnancy. No pain during the second pregnancy (probably because they were beaten and battered already from breastfeeding!).
  • Felt movement at 14 weeks or so with Cece. Even earlier with number two. Feel like little fingers tickling you from the inside out.
  • Baby bump showed up much sooner the second time around. Maybe around 8 weeks?
  • Gained 45 pounds (!) during first pregnancy. Gained 39 during the second.
  • Cece was born 4 days past her due date. I went into labor naturally and gave birth to her 13 hours later without the help of drugs. Sully arrived two days before his due date. I went into labor naturally and delivered him 7 hours later with the help of drugs. More on that to come!
  • First sign of labor with Cece - upset bowels and radiating lower back pain (feeling similar to menstrual cramps). First sign of labor with Sully - my water broke in bed.
  • My first baby bump was big and wide. My second was big and mostly in front of me. Even so, my booty and legs got much bigger during both pregnancies.
  • My hands and feet swelled during my first pregnancy, especially after giving birth. Swelling was minimal during second pregnancy. 
  • Had a 8mm kidney stone at week 23 of pregnancy number two. I believe it was a more painful ordeal than giving birth to Cece, which is saying a lot.
  • Lost all of the baby weight from my first pregnancy within 5 months of having Cece. Hoping it's as "easy" the second time around!
  • Was active during both pregnancies, though in different capacities. With Cece, I ran until I was about 30 weeks pregnant. With my second, I only ran once (a 5K race!) but spent every day lifting and lugging around a 25lb toddler, which is probably more of a workout than any pregnancy jog any day!
  • No stretch marks with either kid (knock on wood) but my belly button...oh my poor stretched out belly button!
  • Breastfed Cece until she was about 15 months old. Stopped within weeks of finding out I was pregnant again.
  • Both kids took to nursing like champs. 
  • Worst pregnancy symptom the first time: carpel tunnel syndrome. Non-existent during my second pregnancy. Worst pregnancy symptom the second time: heartburn. It was really, really, really bad and probably has contributed to my slightly lower overall weight gain because I was literally afraid to eat anything! Immediate relief as soon as Sully was born.
  • My hair grew fast during both pregnancies however, during my first it was along thick, strong and shiny. During my second it was still thick, but dry and dull instead. Boo.
  • Strange pregnancy side effect - randomly seeing dancing "lights" around the corners of my periphery vision. This is a hard one to describe. They kind of look like fireflies dancing in the corners of my eyes. Yup. 
  • Cravings: cold fruit (both), salt (second), sweets (first), lots of cold milk during the last few weeks (both).
  • I've always been an imaginative dreamer but during both pregnancies, my dreams were even more vivid and definitely out there. 
  • While on the subject of sleeping, for both pregnancies sleep was interrupted early (by week 7 I was unable to sleep through the night) due to the need to pee at least 1-2 times a night. Hormones!
  • Read several books, took a birth class and typed up an extensive birth plan to prepare for first labor and delivery. Second time around: dug up old birth class notes during my 39th week of pregnancy and jotted down a few thoughts about labor and delivery on a scrap piece of paper to serve as our birth plan. It didn't make it out of my hospital bag.
  • Both kids have camped out entirely on the right side of my belly. There has never been any movement toward my left side. I'm sure I will be lopsided forever. 
  • After 13 hours of unmediated labor, I delivered Cece after 3 contractions during the "pushing" phase. She weighed 7lbs, 3oz and was 18.5 inches long. I only needed a stitch or two to patch me back up. After 6 hours of unmedicated labor and one hour of pain-free labor courtsey of an epidural, I delivered Sully after 30 minutes of intermitten "pushing". It was a much different experience (more to come!). Sully weighed 7lbs, 11oz and was 19 inches long. I only needed a stitch or two to patch me back up. 
  • Physical recovery has been much easier the second time. Less pain, less bleeding, less swelling, less stress, fewer mood swings. Also, less time to cuddle and coo at baby thanks to a rambunctious two year old!
  • During my first pregnancy I worked up until the week before (5 days) I delivered and took 11 weeks of maternity leave. During my second pregnancy I worked an 8 hour day on the day I delivered and plan on taking 11 weeks of maternity leave.
  • Cece was born on a Wednesday. Sully a Friday.

Cece on the right, Sully on the left. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sullivan at One Week

It's been a week since little Sullivan joined our family. I'll put together a post about his actual birth day soon but this is my attempt at preserving a few memories from Sully's first week with us.

My water broke at midnight on Thursday, November 13th. We were in bed, having been asleep for about an hour when I woke to the feeling of well...maybe you can imagine. I'll leave the details for the birth story but in any case, that was the beginning and 7 hours later, Sullivan was in our arms.

Sully, you made your way into this world on a cold, cold night. In fact, we experienced our first snowfall of the season on the night I went into labor. Snowflakes coated the road as we made our way to the hospital but the sun shone bright the next morning as you took your first breath of air at 7:03 am.

So far, Sullivan has been - dare I say - an easy babe. I don't want to jinx it, but this kid is one mellow dude. He nurses like a champ and sleeps like a dream. The only time he complains about anything is when we change his diaper or clothing. He has light blonde hair, tinged with a bit of red, just like Cece's was when she finally got hair around 6-7 months. His skin is a bit orange due to being slightly jaundiced but he's been soaking up the sunlight and flushing his system with lots of milk so it shouldn't last much longer.

Sully, it's a good thing you're mr. mellow because when your sister is around, things are a bit chaotic in the house. She loves you so, so much. At times, maybe tries to love you too much - as in, she constantly wants to hug (smother) you, and sit with (on) you. I suppose all that love is better than the alternative though.

As for me, I'm making a speedy recovery. Everything seemed to be easier the second time around, thank goodness. It's a good thing, too because with two babes to look after, there's hardly time to think about myself. Sullivan has been a champion nurser, just like his sister was. I'm so thankful for that. Breastfeeding can be stressful, painful and time consuming and there are no guarantee it will go smoothly. I'm just thankful my kids took to it easily. So far, so good. 

As I said, Sullivan sleeps like a dream. He has taken to cluster feeding in the evening and then sleeping for longer 3-4 hour stretches at night. He sleeps next to me at bed so I just listen for his little grunts, roll over and feed him in the side-lying position. Most nights he only needs one diaper change. Since I'm pretty used to broken sleep after two years with Cece and 9 months of pregnancy, the lack of solid sleep hasn't phased me much (yet) this time around. It was a huge adjustment for both of us when Cece was born and I can remember the first few weeks being really, really hard. I'm hoping Sully's schedule and habits stay steady, but perhaps that's wishful thinking. If there's anything predictable about babies, it's that they are predictably unpredictable and that as soon as you are settled into a "good" stretch, they changed things up on you. So...I'm just waiting for the shoe to fall. For that first really tough night, tough stretch. For my hormones to go haywire and for sleep deprivation to set in. It's coming. I'm sure. But for this week, it's been pretty blissful to just soak up the baby smells and little snuggles and to fully enjoy our time as a family of four.

Just as a comparison, here's a look back at Cece's first week with us.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Introducing...


Sullivan James Pulaski. 7lbs, 11 oz. 19 inches. 7:03 AM, 11/14/14

Everyone is doing great. Better pictures to come!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ready

Likely the last of my belly shots. Water broke at 12 AM this morning.  It's go time, baby.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Baby #2: 39 Weeks

T-minus one week (or so) to go! It's kind of surreal to be at this stage already. And as uncomfortable as I am and as much as I kind of hate being pregnant, it's also a little strange/sad to think this is the last time (knock on wood) I'll be pregnant. That's the plan, anyway. =)

My symptoms this week have been similar to what I've been complaining about over the past few. Heartburn seems to be especially bad and I have to get up 4-5 times a night to pee. Two nights this week I was woken up at 4 am with real contractions. I eventually timed a few of them and they were 10-12 minutes apart and when I got up they stopped. Nothing too alarming, though that first night I did panic a little because I still didn't have hospital bags packed and felt like I had 100 things left on my "to-do" list. As a result, I ended up getting up at 4 am and spent the rest of the morning (until I had to leave for work!) scurrying about the house like a mad woman to check some of those things off my list. Pregnancy hormones make you do strange things. I also scrubbed all of our kitchen cabinets this week, organized our guest room closet, junk drawers, laundry room and bathroom closet. I think I've done 20 loads of laundry. I've been washing literally everything in sight. Productive? Yes. A little insane? Yes.

The babe still seems pretty content in there. He's just like his sister and spends most of his time hanging out on my right side. Maybe it's just me. These kids have probably rearranged all of my other organs to the left side to make it as roomy as possible for themselves in there. I swear I'm lopsided now and I can almost always feel a foot poking out the side of my stomach. This kid is a stretcher!
Two little photobombers!
Despite a clean house and packed hospital bags (finally!), I'd be lying if I said I felt ready for labor. I dug out our old books from the birthing class we took when I was pregnant with Cece and skimmed them for oh, about 3 minutes. It's not that I feel especially calm or confident about giving birth again (actually, I'm dreading the pain, that memory has not left me!) but I just haven't felt anxious about it or had the desire to write out a birth plan or pester James to hone up on his own birth prep. I'm sure when the real labor pains start, I'll probably panic a bit that we are totally and entirely under-prepared. But then again, maybe not. Guess we'll have to wait and see. At this point, as long as we remember to grab the car seat, drop off Cece and get to the hospital before the babe comes, I'd say we'll be just fine. Let's face it, he's coming weather we're ready or not!

Here's my 39 week picture from Cece's pregnancy. Bump #2 looks bigger and lower to me. Yes?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Little Mama

Cece has had a baby doll for about a year now. And for about a year now she has shown zero interest in it, practically ignoring the baby completely. That is, until about two weeks ago when we got the baby gear down from the attic. The first thing she tried to do was crawl into the baby swing and probably almost broke it. So we went through the whole, "no, Cece, it's for the baby" routine. That must have made some connection for her because five minutes later she had dug through her toy box and found her long lost baby doll and immediately put it in the swing. Ever since then, she's been obsessed with her baby. She takes it everywhere. She referrs to the baby as "Cece's baby" over and over again. She talks to the baby, coos at the baby, worries about the baby's "poopy" diaper. And this is all without enouragement mind you. She's really taken the bull by the horns with this. I take it as a sign she's going to be a great big sister. Let's hope!

(Pay no mind to the Christmas jammies...not trying to rush to the holidays here, they are a hand-me down and Cece happened to pick them out last night)

Taking baby for a stroll. Always needs to be buckled in. 

Time to change baby's outfit. We're pretty good at taking clothes off. Haven't mastered putting them back on yet though.

Time to feed baby. "Baby, eat!"

 Like all good moms, a taste test in necessary to be sure baby's milk is fresh and safe to drink.

 "Here you go, baby."

Ooops. Baby made a poopie diaper. We love using wipes and diaper cream on baby (the real stuff, unfortunately). 

 It's nap time. Let's read a book to baby.

Cover baby up so she doesn't get a chill. 

Hush, hush baby. "Shhhhhhhh." Go to sleep now. 

Success, a sleeping babe! Let's hope Cece's little baby brother is as easy going as Cece's baby. Either way, it's a good thing I have this little helper on board now! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Baby #2: 38 Weeks

I'm going to try and do weekly updates now until this kid is born. That is to say, let's hope I only have two more (at the most!) to do! These pictures are falling deep into the unflattering category these days. I can't wait to lose the baby weight!

So here we are two weeks out from my official due date. Cece was almost a week late so I guess I'm not too focused on the date (November 16) and sort of expect babe number two to follow suit. Plenty of people have told me they think I'll "go early" with this baby. Why is that? Because I look huge? Are they trying to make me feel better (this will eventually backfire and make me feel worse when I'm overdue). Either way, my gut says he's not really ready to join us and might in fact be just as stubborn as his sister. I still have loose ends to tie up at work and at home so for now, I'm ok with him sitting tight. We'll see how long that lasts!

We had another growth scan ultrasound done at the end of last week. Because the babe was measuring in the 91st percentile for weight at 33ish weeks, my doctors wanted to be sure I wasn't growing a monster. Turns out now he's solidly in the "average" category measuring right on schedule in the 57th percentile for weight. Hurray. I don't love the idea of extra ultrasounds but I'm relieved to know he's not a giant and that my docs won't be as inclined to push induction if he decides to hang out for three more weeks.

As far as how I'm feeling these days...well, like I tell everyone who asks, I feel...pregnant. My back is sore, I can't sleep, I have raging heartburn and reflux 24 hours a day and I caught a chest cold from Cece and have been hacking up my lungs for the past week.  I coughed so much I pulled a muscle in my side, super awesome. Also, it's just exhausting to cough all day. Here's to hoping I'm at the tail end of it now. Also experienced a bit of the good ole "nesting" feeling I had with Cece's pregnancy, cleaning and organizing random corners of the house. That's about the only pregnancy side effect I wish would stick around!

The bump definitely looks a bit bigger to me this time around. What do you think?  Funny thing is so far, I've gained LESS weight (ok, not much less, but less) and have gained no new weight in the past week. Go figure. Sounds like last time around though I was dealing with debilitating carpel tunnel syndrome. Thankfully, that's one symptom that hasn't come back for round two! Check out my 38 week update from 2012.